The first step towards improving your financial situation isn’t making more money. It isn’t even getting into the habit of saving. Before you can do anything about your financial situation, you first must learn how to manage money appropriately. Read on to learn the basics of good financial management.
If you are looking to purchase a new car, go for one that is fuel efficient. Not only are they better for the environment, but fuel efficient cars will save you tons of money on gas. Just be aware that many cars that were not made in recent years are not fuel efficient.Never use your 401K to pay off your debt, if you want to be secure in your personal finances. Unless you are court ordered to do so, you do not have to use your 401K to pay any debt. This money is worth more if kept in the account and can help you to rebuild, if necessary, later on.
If you are traveling, but still need to save as much money as possible, ask about what is included with the price of your hotel room. Some places may have a continental breakfast or provide free transportation to the places that you need to visit. Little things can add up quickly.
When you are ready to open a new checking account, ask the banker to explain the various types of accounts that they offer. Many banks offer free checking and savings accounts, as long as you keep a minimum balance in the account each month. Also, ask about ATM fees. There are often many “hidden” fees that are involved in ATM use.
Get a flexible spending account. This kind of account allows you to take care of certain eligible expenses with pre-tax money. You can get a discount on the interest of this pre-tax money that corresponds to your tax bracket. Instead of getting a tax return on these expenses, you benefit from an immediate discount.
Cut monthly costs by looking for ways to gift frugally. Consider making gifts, or giving people items that are consumable. Homemade cookies, jams and sweets are great ideas. Framed photographs, hand-embroidered linens and handmade scrapbooks make wonderful keepsake gifts that the recipients will cherish for much longer than the usual store-bought gifts.
Never share your personal information with anyone, as this can make it much easier for someone to hackyour accounts or to commit identity fraud. Even if you trust someone, they may not be very careful in recording your login information and make it easier for a criminal to hack into your account.
Take a look in your bathroom at some of the toiletries that you consistently purchase, and see if there are any items that you can get at a fraction of the cost. Try different types of products to see if there are any that give you the same results at a lower price.
Financial management is a matter of education, as you can now see. Now that you’ve learned the basics, you’ll probably come up with an infinite number of ideas to help improve your financial situations. Experiment with your finances to see what works best for you. Soon, you’ll be in charge of your money instead of the other way around.